More travel stuff, this time two things that made our trip better.
ONE: the new less-drowsy Dramamine.
It’s not all THAT new, but this was the first time I’d tried it. Old Dramamine was dimenhydrinate, and that knocks me RIGHT OUT. Which is a conflicting thing, because if I’m sleeping, I don’t really need medicine to let me read in a car/plane/train. The newer Dramamine is meclizine HCI. I was suspicious of it, but tried it. I was able to read on the plane, and although I was drowsy a few times, that might be because we had to get up at 1:45 in the morning to get to our first flight. And I didn’t have that knocked-out/drugged feeling. This was only one test (well, two since I used it both directions of travel), but I was very pleased with the results. There is also a non-drowsy Dramamine, but the active ingredient is just ginger, and I’mma let someone else try that first, and even if you say it’s great I probably will not risk it. I still resent ginger for not helping with morning sickness.
TWO: walking sticks. Er, “trekking poles.”
My brother and sister-in-law brought these to our attention when they both used them on a hike. Then they bought a pair for my mom, and she loved them. The last time I visited my parents, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the physical adventures, so I wanted to try the trekking poles too, and my parents bought me a pair for my birthday. This trip was their first airing, and I think I probably said “I LOVE THESE WALKING STICKS”/”This is SO much easier/better with the walking sticks!” about a dozen times per day.
Here are my issues the sticks help so much with: easily-hurt knees, weak ankles, and in general not very good balance. Suddenly I was STABLE, and didn’t feel as if my ankles might suddenly give out with a particularly vigorous step-down, and I had help with steep inclines. Also, my mom has none of my same issues, but loves the way the sticks let her arms share a vigorous hike with her legs; I liked that aspect too.
The trekking poles adjust for different heights; they look a little weird in the photo I used here, because they’re in their collapsed state and there is a big bouquet of tags on each one. They’re easy to adjust—though I say that after having my mom do it for me the first time, and then using a Sharpie marker to mark where she put them, and then having my dad use some sort of tool to tighten them into place, so never mind, they are not really EASY to adjust, but they are adjustable, and not hard once you get the idea of how they work. Also, my mom showed me how to use the little loops, which is a counter-intuitive process: you put your hands UP through the loops (so that your hands are floating above the walking sticks), and then, with them all up in your wrist/palm area, grab the handles of the poles. You will have to use FAITH the first time you do this, because it seems WRONG. …Don’t get discouraged by this paragraph.
I highly recommend these poles/sticks for anyone who does a lot of outdoorsy stuff, and for anyone who does NOT usually do a lot of outdoorsy stuff but is about to be in a situation where they will participate in some. I’d say they took me from “not really enjoying the scenery because I was concentrating on not hurting myself / not falling off a mountain / not dying from unaccustomed exertion” to “partially enjoying the scenery and partially rejoicing in how great my walking sticks were.”